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What with the Chinese fakes and the lovely and well-crafted fakes coming out of eastern Europe, a fella really has to know what he's looking for and looking at. I've just bought a Japanese parade sword (authentic) and I have my eye on a late 17th. century French hunting sword that's coming up at auction. The Japanese sword needs a lot of TLC, but that'll be one of my spring projects.
 

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So in an attempt to further my education, what are the "give-aways" on a sword like this ? the SN looks laser engraved to me. It is not in the same spot as the real one I have, but that may or may not be an issue..... ?
 

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The trick is to prepare yourself with the genuine swords. If you have seen enough real ones, the fakes will standout. You only need one or two red flags to walk away from the purchasing.

On this sword, the fuller is not cut correctly. That's the red flag one. The markings on the handle don't look right. That's the red flag two. For me, I don't even need these red flags. The sword is wrong from the first look. It's like someone selling you a Ruger 10/22 in the guise of MG-42. 2A people will tell, but other people don't know jack.
 

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They have some very nice Russian Shashka fakes out now....like they say, know what a real one looks like and you can spot the fakes...study first then pull the trigger and if it looks to good to be true price wise...it is too good to be true.
 

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In addition to Sporter's points, the serial number is stamped, cutting edge up, which would say Nagoya Arsenal, but they have the stacked cannon-balls stamp of the Kokura Arsenal. The dimpling on the tsuba is straight, should be more random. The dimpling on the handle is typical of a fake - poor definition. The nut on the handle is not Japanese.
 

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In addition to Sporter's points, the serial number is stamped, cutting edge up, which would say Nagoya Arsenal, but they have the stacked cannon-balls stamp of the Kokura Arsenal. The dimpling on the tsuba is straight, should be more random. The dimpling on the handle is typical of a fake - poor definition. The nut on the handle is not Japanese.
 

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What do gunto koshirae WW2 era katana sell for now a days? I can't imagine too much as the blades were, well, by normal katana grading, junk stampings. I guess it is simply the collecting of WW2 artifacts and not quality per se?
 

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Don't really follow your question, Reirver. In general, gunto fittings run $200 to $900, depending. Are you refering to Type 95 NCO koshirae or both NCO and Officer? There are some quite elaborate and beautiful Officer fittings.

As to the blades, NCO were one-steel construction and not a good a sword as officer blades. But why people collect them? - Personal taste - as in all collecting. I, personally, love the WWII gunto. I'm a WWII "fan" for lack of a better word, and love these gunto. Part of it is preserving history. Part is honoring the men who gave their lives for their country. Lots of reasons.
 
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